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Junior the “wonder dog", neither as wondrous as promised nor even entirely canine, given his ability to read an instruction manual and survive all manner of attacks, headlines Entertainment, the debut feature of the pun-favouring scriptwriting duo Sajid-Farhad.

Junior, aka Entertainment, a golden retriever as winsome as they come, even gets top billing above leading man Akshay Kumar, and he responds to the honour by often refusing to look Kumar’s character Akhil in the eye. Entertainment is forever gazing into the yonder and beyond Akhil’s shoulder, presumably at his trainer, but also possibly at that part of the movie set that says “EXIT" in flashing red.

Some of the ideas in the hopefully named 140-minute comedy come from the American television film You Lucky Dog. Akhil needs to come into money fast in order to marry lady love Sakshi (Tamannah Bhatia). The illegitimate son of a wealthy diamond merchant in Bangkok, Akhil gets his chance when the father dies, but nearly loses it when he learns that the father has willed his fortune to his pet dog. Akhil and his buddy Jugnu (television actor and host Krushna Abhishek) plot to kill Entertainment, but they have a change of heart when stepbrothers and distant relatives Karan (Prakash Raj) and Arjun (Sonu Sood) arrive to stake their claim on the money.

The Karan-Arjun joke about the Rakesh Roshan directed reincarnation drama Karan Arjun, lands nicely, but the rest of the humour is all rhyme and little reason, aimed squarely at undiscerning children and their adult companions. There is endless punning, a play on the names of actors (example: “I Rajini-can’t believe it") and iconic Hindi movies, SMS-forward-worthy jokes and the idea that a dog can get the better of humans.

Junior’s bored expression and lack of affection towards the two-legged creatures on the set is glaringly evident, but the rest of the cast has far more energy, sportingly submitting themselves to the pratfalls aimed at knee-high viewers and going along with the occasionally madcap plot twists.

Entertainment released in theatres on Friday.

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